This National Public Gardens Week (May 8-17), we celebrated the resilience of public gardens across the nation in their adaptability in providing nature to their communities by sharing the ICG team member’s favorite photos of the Garden. See all the photos below!
“I love this photo because to me it represents empowerment. That hand looks small, and so is that seedling, but together, they represent hope, food, beauty, and nourishment for the soul. I also love the relationship between the children here, and the mutual caring of this little plant being.” – Erin Marteal, executive director
I love this photo I took of a snapping turtle on the Very Hungry Caterpillar Boardwalk in 2018. It was trying to climb through the fence. The hole was too small and it stayed put while I took photos. What I love about this picture is the detail of the eye, nose and claw. Snapping turtles are ancient creatures and look like dinosaurs to me. It’s really neat that they capture fish by burying themselves up to their snout in mud and then opening their mouth. They have a wormlike object on the end of their tongue to fool fish into coming in close. A fish goes for the “worm” and the snapper has a fish dinner! – Jean Gerow, facilities manager
“I love this photo because it illustrates what I appreciate the most about ICG’s approach to nature education and their adoption of playwork philosophy. It’s messy and trusting and looks different for each person. You can sense the connection to both the place and people; there’s both ownership and belonging. Some are deep in focused work, others moving in transition, and still others collaborating. The adult is wearing a chef hat for reasons unknown and although listening intently, not interfering in what’s happening. There’s no agenda, the children are leading.” – Leigh MacDonald-Rizzo, education director
I love this picture because it captures the pure joy of discovery of the natural world. This is what Playful Nature Explorers is about! Learning through play and discovery…. and the process is beautiful! – Mara NewRoots, early childhood educator
“This is a moment from a really great crisp fall day, one of the last I was able to spend with the After School @ ICG group. When I was an Americorps VISTA Member, I spent at least one afternoon a week with Lauren and the After School gang at the Garden. I really looked forward to my days playing with the kids and getting to be outside. It felt like recess, like I was just let out of school (the office) and was on my way to play! I think back to these days often and smile, happy I’m able to contribute to the ICG team to make programs like this happen.” – Tori Chamberlin, philanthropy associate
“I love this photo because it reminds me of the adventures I used to go on as a child in the forest around where I grew up. I remember the feeling of independence, freedom, and belonging I felt roaming through the forest making up stories and alter egos for myself. I love Ithaca Children’s Garden because the Garden is for children, it is their place, they take the lead on their adventures in it and we know this helps build confidence and resilience.” – Alana Pagano, communications coordinator
“What this photo conveys for me is that at ICG visitors can play off the path, in the thick of the things around them.” – Richard Lansdowne, operations manager